Interview with Barbara Teresa
Barbara Teresa is an up and coming and independent singer-songwriter, self-taught producer and multi-instrumentalist from Caracas, Venezuela and she is currently based in LA.
Her genre-blending pop sound draws inspiration from the indie-pop/folk/alternative music of Lizzy McAlpine, Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift’s folklore as do her emotive lyrics which chronicles relatable details about self-love, friendships and challenging times.
After the successful release of her first two singles, ‘real life’ and ‘saturday night’, Barbara has just blessed us with the release of her third single ‘just this one time’.
The beautiful instrumentation allows Barbara’s soft and airy vocals to shine through as she sings about giving into infatuation and losing yourself in a moment of passion, “don’t care if it’s just this one time”.
The track is full of gentle and fresh sounds which, coupled with the sincere and poetic lyrics, leave you with a sense of longing and nostalgia for those teenage nights that live on in your memory.
It was an absolute pleasure to speak to Barbara about her she first got involved with music, the inspiration behind her latest track and her dream venue…
How did you learn to play/to sing/to write?
I’ve been singing all my life! I don’t recall ever being taught “how” to sing. In elementary school I performed in talent shows, was involved in community choir and I spent most of my time at home playing around with an old karaoke machine. I started taking private voice lessons in 5th grade and the difference it made in my technique was huge. Theatre had a very big impact on me as well.
I started taking piano lessons in 4th grade and kept them up until December of last year before leaving Venezuela. I taught myself how to play guitar and ukulele in 2018 and 2020 respectively.
In regards to writing, I’ve always loved it. English was always one of my best and favourite subjects in school and creative writing is something that’s luckily come easily to me my whole life. So even though learning the gist of song-writing was tough at times, I got the hang of it by emulating some of my favourite artists and just being honest through my words.
Has your upbringing had an influence on your music?
It definitely has. I take pride in the music I grew up listening to around the house. I think my dad has awesome taste in music. Although it’s not too evident, I think 70s/80s ballads and rock songs have definitely influenced my music thematically. Because I grew up in a pretty creative household, I was exposed to a lot of media, so I think I subconsciously over-dramatise and romanticise everything, since that’s what I saw on my TV screen. That’s very much reflected in my music.
Which musical artists have had the biggest impact on you and your sound?
Taylor Swift. I don’t think any artist has influenced my sound quite as much as she has. She’s a big reason why I started writing songs and I think her influence is pretty prominent in my music. I also think she’s an incredible artist, and her words have not only impacted me musically, but personally as well.
How would you describe your style of music to someone who has never heard it and what is unique about your music?
Pop sprinkled with a little bit of everything. The three songs I have out are all pretty different, so whether you like folk, commercial, or indie, there’s something for your liking!
What inspired your third single ‘just this one time’?
Like a lot of my music, a boy did. I write most of my songs based on personal experience and as a teenage girl it’s no surprise that a handful of them will be centred around romantic interests or partners. “just this one time” is no exception. The lyrics are pretty much a simplified retelling of the event that inspired it!
What is your favourite lyric from the track and why?
Hmmm, probably “the touch of a hand on my spine / your drunken lips merge into mine” in the chorus. Even though it’s simple, I’m pretty proud of that one. I think in just a few words it expresses a handful of things.
What do you most want to be remembered for?
Before even getting into music, I always told myself that whatever I ended up doing in life, I wanted to help people with it. So, if all goes well with music, I want to be remembered for helping people through my art – whether that be helping them heal, helping them connect, or helping them rediscover themselves.
Do you have a dream festival or venue that you would love to play at? Why?
The O2 Arena in London! I’m a huge Directioner (One Direction), and when I first watched the This Is Us movie in 2013 I told myself that one day I wanted to sell out The O2 like they did. I also loved 5SOS when I was in middle school and they played there a few times, so of course I wanted to as well. I’m not betting on that happening any time soon but a girl can dream! Playing Madison Square Gardens has also been a huge dream of mine for the longest time.
What piece of music do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience it for the first time again and why?
The entirety of Queen’s discography. They are just absolutely brilliant. My dad had a Queen CD in his car and we’d listen to their music on our rides to school every morning. They definitely had a big hand in making me fall in love with music. I think now though, if I had the chance to listen to some of their songs all over again, I’d appreciate the work that went into creating them way more than I did back then. Also, I’m pretty sure that I would have an out-of-body experience if I got to listen to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ like it were the first time again.
What can we expect from you within the next 12 months? Any releases planned? Future gigs?
I’m currently working on two singles and I’m going to put out a pretty big project in the fall. There’s a lot more music (and more videos) coming very soon! I haven’t fully solidified these though, so I don’t want to give too much away. But I honestly cannot wait!
by Eveline Vouillemin ©